Thursday night, the in-stadium voting for the 2010 All-Star Game concluded. That said, fans can still vote online for starters over at MLB.com until July 1.
Among the players on the official ballot is the recently retired Ken Griffey Jr…and it is possible he COULD end up in Anaheim for the Midsummer Classic.
Currently third among the voting for American League designated hitters (Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui are placing ahead of Junior), it wouldn’t be completely unheard of for the 13 time All-Star to be elected by the fans or selected by managers to participate.
Phillies legend Mike Schmidt led all National League third baseman in voting in 1989 despite hitting .203 and retiring six weeks prior to the Midsummer Classic. Schmidt decided against playing in the game (Howard Johnson took his starting spot), but he did participate in the game’s opening ceremony…played at, coincidentally, Anaheim.
In 2001, Cal Ripken Jr. was elected to his 19th straight All-Star Game even though he had announced his pending retirement prior to the season. In his first at bat, he sent the first pitch he saw over the left field wall en route to his second All-Star Game MVP.
Also in attendance for the 2001 game in Seattle was another future Hall of Famer that had announced his retirement prior to the season…Tony Gwynn. While not selected to play, he and Ripken were bestowed the Annual Bud Selig Award for Outstanding Acheivement in the Field of Excellence (or whatever he calls it) prior to the sixth inning.
So…is Ken Griffey Jr. worthy of an All-Star nod? Absolutely not.
Will he be there on the foul lines alongside vote leaders Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter and former teammate Ichiro Suzuki? It’s possible. I threw the question out to you readers and close to 45% of you thought he should.
What do you think? Let me know below!